Bethany Lutheran Brethren Church
Staten Island, NY

Bethany Blog

Bethany Blog

Check out Sunday's Messages and Devotionals from Pastor Paul Couch!

Living for Worship

The LORD has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: “I will not again give your grain to be food for your enemies, and foreigners shall not drink your wine for which you have labored; but those who garner it shall eat it and praise the LORD, and those who gather it shall drink it in the courts of my sanctuary.” Isaiah 62:8-9

Sometimes I ask people what they are looking forward to; what are they excited about?  The standard answers are the weekend or vacation or some special event they’ll be attending.  I have yet to have someone tell me that they are really excited to go to school because they’ve got a test their dying to take or to go to work because there is a big problem their office is facing. 

It’s natural for us to look ahead and to focus on something that is hopeful in order to help us with the parts of our lives that seems ordinary or difficult.  The Scripture encourages us to do that, but takes us a much deeper than we typically go.

In the passage above Isaiah is speaking of heaven.  He’s speaking of a time when we will not need to be concerned about being robbed.  He’s looking forward to time when we will worship God in peace.  But this also reflects a picture of our reality now. 

The reason that we work is not simply to make it to the weekend.  The reason that we work is to prepare us for corporate worship.  The Lord has said to us: “Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God…You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.” (Deuteronomy 5:13, 14, 15)  Here’s the implications of that:

1.  Worship brings meaning our everyday work. The six days of labor is the time of preparation for the corporate gathering of God’s people to worship Him because there is nothing greater than Him. 

2.  Worship centers around the Gospel.  God brings us together so that we can remember that He has rescued us from sin and the devil and given us eternal life. 

3.  Worship includes our response.  The six days of labor is also the response of the corporate worship we have experienced the week before.  We gather to worship and God leads us in response.  

Worship of God is the center.  Our six days of labor is leading us to this sacred assembly of God’s people so that we can worship Him together in spirit and in truth.  Worship leads us into another six days of labor, which leads us back to worship.  As Isaiah records, “But those who garner it shall eat it and praise the Lord, and those who gather it shall drink it in the courts of my sanctuary.”  The fruit of all our labor is most clearly seen in the place of corporate worship.  The value of our labor is revealed in our corporate worship.  The worship that we will be a part of on Sunday brings deep and abiding meaning to what we are doing right now.  We’re not simply living for the weekend.  We were made to live for worship!

So let me ask you a question: Today, what are you looking forward to?